Microsoft's Windows 7 House Party prep video is a real party pooper
Sometimes buzz is the last thing a company should want.
Microsoft's lame Windows House Party prep video is the rage of the Web right now -- and that's not good. I refrained from blogging yesterday but have been called to action. This morning, Interpret's Michael Gartenberg tweeted: "How have you not weighed in on the House Party videos? Are you just laughing too hard... We need some JW analysis here please." OK. OK. I'll break my silence.
The House Party video is so bad I hurled not laughed. It is godawful disgusting marketing. Two days ago, I received my Windows 7 House Party confirmation. But I'm now seriously -- and I do mean seriously -- thinking about cancelling. If this video is Microsoft's idea of a party, whoa -- I don't want to be a lame-ass by association. These people make even the weirdest geeks seem cool, by comparison.
There's something about the baddness that reminds me of Internet Explorer 8 videos with actor Dean Cain (You remember the handsome, Princeton graduate turned TV Superman?). One video featured a woman hurling, which, again, was my reaction to the Windows 7 House Party prep video.
Gartenberg later tweeted: "Just show your guests a few of the Win 7 Orientation videos. You'll never worry about having friends over again."
What really scares me: The video is so 1950s bad and boring, I wonder if there is some hidden revelation about Microsoft corporate culture. It's all so staid, so contained, so contrived. Do you see any characteristics in this video that remind of some Microsoft products? Gulp, I do. Please give your answers in comments.
After hitting so many marketing homers -- "The Rookies," "Laptop Hunters," and "Bing" -- the Windows 7 House Party prep video is a pop out. It's like counter-marketing. Boring video. Boring people. Boring party. And by association, boring Windows 7. You can turn off the clock and go back to sleep now. There's nothing worth getting up for here.
Microsoft does want to generate excitement around Windows 7 -- or did I miss something? The intro video should be exciting and tuned to the audience. Exactly who does Microsoft think is signing up for these parties anyway? Geeks are what I see, and this video is oh-so not for them.
One of my regular readers and an IM buddy is Puppet, a 12th-year student from Australia. Puppet is a big Microsoft fan. He was super enthused to sign for a party and to be chosen. For Puppet (not his real name, of course), the Windows 7 House Party approaches geek nirvana. It will be in a sense his graduation party, too. "It's the day after my last day of school ever," he told me over IM. Puppet finishes high school next month.
I'll make a plug here for Puppet. He's looking for a PC manufacturer to provide some gear for his party. Would you like to help him out? If I were a Microsoft marketer, Outlook would be open already and an email half-written to Puppet. What better marketing than a teenage geek who loves Microsoft products celebrating his high school graduation with a Windows 7 party? Puppet already has gained a little local celebrity status for being chosen to host a party: "Tupperware tactics to push New Windows 7."
Tupperware. Tupperware. Mmm, that's the problem with that damn Windows 7 House Party prep video. It's more like a Tupperware party instructional. Windows 7 Tupperware provides containers for all your stuff. Photos go into this plastic pop-top. Movies require this liter-size container. For your music, there is compartmentalized storage. Torrent downloads go here. Zune Pass tracks go there. That tiny box is for iTunes music you foolishly paid for. All this Tupperware can be yours for free with Windows 7.
Perhaps, just perhaps there is method to the madness -- or so I can hope. Microsoft kicked off its $300 million Windows marketing campaign with those insanely stupid Bill and Jerry commercials -- as in Microsoft cofounder Gates and comedian Seinfeld. They were so bad, everything that followed seemed good. Could that really be Microsoft's objective here?
For now, I just don't know about holding a Windows 7 House Party. Party hosters, you do realize that Microsoft will use your uploaded pictures and movies for marketing purposes? Wouldn't you just die if the Microsoft marketing makeover made you look like the people in the video? There are geeks, and then there are freaks.
Speaking of freaks, here is the obligatory link to the altered video everyone is laughing about. It's really funny, but even worse party buzz for Microsoft marketers.